Tagaytay, close to the Phillippines’ capital and popular with Manileños looking for an easy weekend break, is a breath of fresh air after traffic-clogged Manila. Snaking along the high ridge of an ancient crater, it has stupendous scenery: pick a hotel with prime real estate for uninterrupted views of Taal Lake and the active volcano island that rises from the waters.
Does the T stand for Tagaytay, Taal or tranquillity? Perhaps it’s all three. With just 18 garden and courtyard suites, a small saltwater pool and hot tub and a tiny spa, this lovely retreat is a fine base for your Tagaytay trip. There’s a shopping mall and plenty of Asian restaurants nearby – but make sure you try the in-house Spanish-Filipino cuisine at Hiraya Cafe (the brick-oven pizzas are particularly special).
The vast suites at The Inn At Cliffhouse are named after four New England lighthouses and boast views of Taal Lake and beyond. Mounted stag heads in the lobby continue the regional theme, but clash a little with the otherwise fresh, seaside-themed decor. There are a selection of restaurants within the complex – the steaks and seafood at FireLake Grill are particularly popular – but get a takeaway and head to Picnic Grove for an al fresco lunch overlooking Taal Lake.